Center for Health Policy

Tuberculosis Outbreaks Spark New Worries Over an Age-Old Disease

Recent TB outbreaks among the poor, homeless and immigrant populations of several U.S. communities have officials worried that the once-tamed disease will become more widespread and harder to contain. What’s more, budget cuts and staff reductions continue to plague state and local health departments, making it harder for them to provide basic services and prepare for and respond to these everyday emergencies. Controlling a disease like TB depends significantly on rapid identification and reporting of active cases, but, Shelton wrote, “decreased staffing means decreased capacity to conduct disease investigations and fewer astute clinicians trained in TB.”

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